CHURCH CORNER: Difference in opinion doesn’t stop love


  • Monday, September 14, 2009 4:46pm
  • Opinion

By Brenda Satrum

What topics do you avoid with your parents?

After the national gathering of my denomination, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, voted to allow practicing (practicing?) gay and lesbian persons in committed, monogamous relationships to be called as clergy to congregations that wish to call them (nobody’s being forced here), I had to talk sex and religion with my parents.

We don’t agree. Mom and Dad, whom I’ll love deeply and hold in utmost respect until the day I die, believe the Bible is crystal clear: same-gender sexual relationships are always sinful. While I understand that the Bible, which I’ll love deeply and hold in utmost respect until the day I die, unambiguously portrays homosexual relationships as sinful, I also understand those who say that the people and situations the Bible condemns are not the loving, self-giving, faithful same-gender relationships we see today among the best of our homosexual neighbors.

We don’t agree. That hurts. I wish I could agree with them. It would be so clear, so right, so much more comfortable that this darned ambiguity. I wish that within our big church, shoot, within our own congregation we could agree. But we don’t. And it hurts.

Sincere, devoted, sin-fleeing, Christ-seeking people stand on both sides of this issue. Let’s set aside for a moment those who are either gloating or cussing. The best of us are just trying to do the right thing – respectfully, lovingly.

Those who believe homosexuality is sinful are trying to love others by telling the truth about behaviors and attitudes they believe God desires to heal. If they let go of this truth of ancient Judeo-Christian law (which Jesus came “not to abolish, but to fulfill”), how many of our homosexual neighbors will relax, justified, into relationships that harm them and others? Be honest: some homosexual relationships, perhaps even many, do result from unhealed abuse, broken families or other dysfunction.

Those who believe homosexual relationships can be good and healthy and blessed by God, follow the Jesus who spoke to Gentile women and healed their kids, who touched lepers and bleeding people, who went to dinner with people his culture and religion condemned. They follow the Jesus who broke the law but lived its heart by caring for widows, orphans and aliens wherever he found them. The Bible condemns lust and abuse wherever it finds it, they may say – so how’s that marriage working for you? We’re kind, self-sacrificing and faithful to each other…are you?

We don’t agree, my parents and I, but we’re family, and we’re stuck with each other. We don’t agree – my brothers and sisters at Trinity, in our denomination, and in the broader Christian community – but we’re family. We who trust and follow Jesus, right and wrong on this issue, are stuck with each other, now and forever. Like squirming kids, we’re held in the arms of the one who loves us to death. So I tell you what, dear family: let’s calm the squirming, follow our consciences and practice loving and serving each other, especially when we don’t agree. OK?

More in Opinion

Enumclaw boys, join the scouts

Troop 422 here in Enumclaw has taught me these things, and it has allowed me to be able to incorporate these things into my own life.

Concessions may be needed to enact carbon pricing

This is the sixth year Gov. Jay Inslee will try to convince lawmakers that the best means of fighting climate change is by making it more expensive to pollute.

Humility allows for tolerance of other’s opinions

Each of us has grown up in different circumstances. Each has been shaped by our life experiences. Each of us sees the world around us differently as a result. Why, then, should it be so difficult to understand that no two people will agree on every issue?

President Trump working toward the vision of our Founders

President Trump is working to return power and liberty to the people.

Inslee: ‘It’s our state’s destiny … to fight climate change’

In his State-of-the-State address, the governor made the case for an ambitious carbon tax.

Culture, politics have and continue to shape race relations

“The central conservative truth is that it is culture, not politics, that determines the success of a society. The central liberal truth is that politics can change a culture and save it from itself.”

Better luck this year, Eyman

2017 was a stinky year for Tim Eyman. It ended with a thud last week when he confessed to not collecting enough signatures to get onto the ballot a measure that would reduce car tab fees and kneecap Sound Transit.

Don’t label all Trump supporters as racist

While the column correctly points out that Trump supporters are happy with his performance and still enthusiastically support him, Mr. Elfers had to inject the liberal “lie” that Trump supporters are racist.

Political turmoil makes nations stronger

Finish this sentence: “What doesn’t kill you___________.” This is how I introduced my recent continuing education class entitled, “President Trump a Year Later.” Of course, this quote is normally completed with the words, “makes you stronger.”

U.S., Russia agree on Middle East situation

Since Russia helped Syria’s Bashar al-Assad stay in power and helped to defeat ISIS, are Russia and the U.S. at odds in the Middle East? Is Russia threatening American dominance in the region? The answer to both is no.

Page-turners: Best books of 2017

Continuing an end-of-year tradition that dates back more than 15 years, the King County Library System has chosen its Best Books of 2017.

Anthem protests about equality, not disrespect

For all who write negative comments about the football players who took a knee and posted that “this is not the America we grew up in,” let me share a few of the personal events from my life growing up in Tacoma Washington as a white woman.